Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Aggressive Dogs! What to do?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Aggressive Dogs! What to do?

    Hello everyone! I will introduce myself soon. I am a regualar thread reader 1st time poster


    Real quick.... no cages, in and out (2-3hr appointment slots) with 2 appointments at a time... 300 sqft leased shop. Hand dried, scissor finishes...

    I have been trying to hire for almost a year with no luck... My husband and I are ready to start a family so we have three options...

    Hire two Full time groomers to carry my clientele> not happening like I thought I have been looking since Febuary.

    Sell the business and continue to offer pet photography and retail out of my home.

    or

    Downsize by raising prices and reffering my dangerous/aggressive dogs elsewhere so that the clientele is back to where I can handle appointments on my own ...moving home where I have parking for 6, 2000sqft lower level (instaed of 300sqft) with grade entrance tiled, fireplace, storage...and no overhead I can be home... instead of acroos town 12 hours/day...

    I belive I am going to go with option #3... hehe

    Ok... how do I as politly as possible loose the difficult pooches? I dont want to get bit, pee'd or pooped on while I am pregnant... nor do I want these animals in my home when I move the business there...

    Currently I am on my own with a bather/dryer... I am doing 10-14 dogs/day... scissor finish! I am quick and perform one hec of a groom! Maybe thats why that darn phone wont stop ringing? Im exhausted! I am currently booking the last week of January... Despite my desperate need for groomers... I have had no such luck...
    Any advice? Anyone send out letters or have something they hand out to inform people of their pets "issues" and recommend them elsewhere?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Most people are very understanding when you tell them your pregnant and you can no longer groom their dog. Going through the exact same thing now, if you have the option to be at home, I would. It's hard to relay on someone else to run your shop they way you do and finding good help is hard.
    I have been telling people with very difficult,aggressive cats and dogs, that I can't groom them now and I'm cutting back due to my pregnancy. If they ask more I tell them my doctor advise me on not to be stressed(which they did). I only had one person freak out on my assistant on the phone. You just got to be firm , and only give out your new information to the people you want to keep. It's your business , you don't have to be stressed trying to please everyone. They will find somewhere else to go. If you know of any other shops in the area, maybe you can start refferring people to them now.
    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds like you need to hire a bather/dryer, not a groomer. Definitely raise your prices. It might drop a few clients for you, but if not, then you have to be selective. Go to pre-booking only and book out 4 to 6 months ahead and that may drop a few clients for you, but if not, then you have to start making decisions.

      Do the owners know about their dog's issues already? If so, it may be simpler. But, if you have glossed over them and have "oh, he was just fine" bad behavior, then owners are in for a shock.

      Comment


      • #4
        I hate to tell you this, but even if you are home based, you still will probably still have to deal with poop, pee and some aggression. I have a home based shop, am due with my first baby in two weeks and am working up through the end of the year. I clean poop and pee on most days and still have the occasional agressive dog. And I'll just tell you that you're probably going to be tired no matter what and that dogs don't give you a break just because you're pregnant. The only way to get the perfect dogs no matter where you are working from is to either raise your prices so that you start weeding out some of the less desireable clientele, or just start eliminating clients that you don't want in general. You are the boss, you can take who you want! I haven't gotten to that point myself, but I do dream of that day...Good luck with everything.

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater

          Dear KidsWithFur,

          Keep the clientele and throw out the expenses. Relocating home sounds great and a lot less expensive.

          What you save will help you with purchasing more help. Train and move your bather brusher up to an assistant groomer who preps your dogs for you. Hire another bather. If you are healthy work through your pregnancy.

          Consider closing for two weeks after the pregnancy and start up again on a limited basis until you are back to tip top shape. Continue to search for a groomer to help while you are off your feet after the pregnancy or just take baths and brushes. You don't find groomers you make them. This should be your total focus and when you are satisfied that you have an employee who can handle it you are on your way.

          The great thing about relocating home is that you will be able to take care of the baby and supervise the business. You will pay out for more help but be able to continue in business.

          Definitely raise your prices but not so much as you will lose good customers, on a case by case basis. You must get your business to be able to bring you income even if you are not able to work there for a time.

          As far as the aggressive dogs they should be eliminated one by one on a case by case basis as you need to. You also do not have to complete every groom if a dog has a particular issue like nails, ears etc. You may ask the owner to get the dog’s ears and nails done at the vets instead of putting yourself in harms way and still retain the customer.

          Still charge for a full groom as it is not your fault that the dog is aggressive for this one procedure and you should not have to complete it if it means putting yourself or your employees in harms way. You may want to invest in a Groomers Helper® and retain some if not all that your bather and or assistant groomer will handle while you are pregnant and on leave from the business.

          You worked hard for your clientele and I for one would not give up a single one. I understand your forward thinking but don't think yourself out of the business you already have. My wife Beth worked right up till delivery for both of our children. She took off for 4 weeks and was back grooming after that. We have two big strapping healthy boys.

          By expanding your business and dropping the expensive shop you will be able to find more time for yourself and family and have the business to pay for it.

          Good Luck and Godspeed.

          Chuck

          Comment


          • #6
            Go home! lol

            Yes, do the home-based grooming - you can't find groomers to hire AND you want to quit doing all the aggressive dogs. Sounds like you do a lot of them, no wonder no one wants to come work there - could be an issue for them if you end up questioning them about all the behavior handling issues of your clientele.

            Not all groomers can (or should) handle behavior problems. If you have found out that you can, great, but that is a talent, not a requirement to be a "dog hairdresser". I used to be good at it, too, but a manager that I hired saw me try to teach my other groomers, and she advised me well: "That's a gift; you can't teach it".

            So - here's your chance to make a nicer grooming job for yourself. The biggest problem is your attitude - you don't want to deliver the bad news to your clients!! So it's your happiness/wellbeing/safety or their convenience - hmmmmmm.....

            Yes, they will be disappointed. No one is going to be thrilled. Just face that fact and do what you need to do for yourself. It's easy for the big dogs - just tell owners that you are sending most (or all) large dogs elsewhere, and DEFINITELY the large ones that need (or should have) 2 people handling them.

            Smaller dogs - well, for the bad ones, just tell them you are cutting back on the amount you do, and so-and-so would do better with a shop where 2 people are available (or at a vet with a light sedative, or whatever), so sorry, blah, blah, blah. I tell people who argue with me about why I can't continue to do their dog that I personally don't consider that a dog getting a haircut is a rodeo event, and I am not interested in that type of work each time. They seem to understand better then, or at least they quit arguing, haha.

            Good luck. You have a great opportunity right now to increase your quality of life. Go for it!

            Comment


            • #7
              Years ago I worked for someone who purchased a house in a busy commercially zoned location with a high traffic count; they turned the first floor into a commercial shop and they lived upstairs. Husband ran his business out of the basement. She was prego at the time and had 3 groomers, 1 bather and her friend running the place as manager/receptionist.

              Comment


              • #8
                I just had a baby in March (can you still say 'just' when it's been nine months?), and there are SO many things I wish were different. I don't have control over my appointments, and was doing 10+ a day; which included little dogs, big dogs, good dogs, mean dogs, gross dogs, and any variation thereof. I was stressed, emotional (And I am NOT an emotional person), exhausted... until a trip to the ER where the doctor then put me out of work. My plan was to work right up until delivery, and I could have done that if it weren't for the scheduling. Then, five weeks later (after a CSection), I was back to doing 10+ dogs and away from my newborn for 11+ hours.

                Please, don't even consider feeling guilty for scaling back.

                You seem to like the idea of being home, so do that! Pregnancy is the perfect excuse to week out the clients you don't like or the dogs you don't want to do. Most all people will be understanding if you say something like 'With the baby on the way, I'm having to cut back my workload.' Then when they ask for appointments after the baby is born, you can say 'With little ____, I'm just not able to do Fluffy any longer. My clientele has shifted to more small dogs/easy to handle dogs.'

                Then, when you feel guilty, look at your baby's face and think of the love radiating inside you and how you're NOT stressed, rushed, upset, etc. When I left my baby that first day, I bawled! I couldn't enjoy the nighttime routine, because I was exhausted and there was still so much to do! By cutting back, you can make the transition back to work much easier on yourself (and better if you're breastfeeding!). A happy, relaxed mommy makes for a happy relaxed (still gonna wake you up all hours of the night) baby.

                Best of luck with this exciting new endeavor!!!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Chuck!

                  Hi Chuck! You may remember me.... my boyfriend Jeff and I had dinner at the Keg with yourself and other great company in Oakville, Ont at this past Canada Grooms... We are also in the backgroud of your picture in front of the conference center on your website

                  Originally posted by Chuck View Post
                  Dear KidsWithFur,

                  Keep the clientele and throw out the expenses. Relocating home sounds great and a lot less expensive.

                  > I can barely handle the clientele as it is... I am starting to find myself having people wait 5-10 mins longer than before...

                  What you save will help you with purchasing more help. Train and move your bather brusher up to an assistant groomer who preps your dogs for you. Hire another bather. If you are healthy work through your pregnancy.

                  > My bather, brusher does not wish to groom and is not very motivated to learn grooming... shes just helping me out since I had to let my assisstant go... long story... late 4 days/ week, not friendly at all with clients... I had another tell me she hit her dog at another grooming job... that was it for me... shes gone.. and Im doing 2x the dogs I did 3 months ago!

                  Consider closing for two weeks after the pregnancy and start up again on a limited basis until you are back to tip top shape. Continue to search for a groomer to help while you are off your feet after the pregnancy or just take baths and brushes. You don't find groomers you make them. This should be your total focus and when you are satisfied that you have an employee who can handle it you are on your way.

                  < I received an email from a hairdresser and she asked if I would teach her... I think I will give her a call...,

                  The great thing about relocating home is that you will be able to take care of the baby and supervise the business. You will pay out for more help but be able to continue in business.

                  > I went to see another groomer in my end of town last week (1 year groomer from home recently moved into leased space) and she told me the city showed up at her house and gave her 30 days to move the business... There is nothing in my cities "rules" about pet grooming from home... but noise and obstructing traffic are big no no's... now I am soooo afraid my plans may again be at a stand still...

                  Definitely raise your prices but not so much as you will lose good customers, on a case by case basis. You must get your business to be able to bring you income even if you are not able to work there for a time.

                  > You and I talked about my prices at the show... you almost got sick!
                  Two other groomers in my block charge $30- $35 for Shih Tzus, Lhasas... small but not too small dogs... The new groomer I spoke to charges $25... and when I spoke to her last week she said she has over 500 clients and would take 100 more... I asked how she did that many dogs on her own when I am double pre-booking often lately with a full time bather... she said her dogs didnt come that often after I told her most of my dogs prebook their appointments every 4-6 weeks...hmmm...

                  I was $35+ gst for these dogs... I have gone to $40 and offered my 6 week prebooking clients a 5% discount.

                  As far as the aggressive dogs they should be eliminated one by one on a case by case basis as you need to. You also do not have to complete every groom if a dog has a particular issue like nails, ears etc. You may ask the owner to get the dog’s ears and nails done at the vets instead of putting yourself in harms way and still retain the customer.

                  I have a cocker spanial... During an attack session I called the owner and notified her of the dogs behaviour when the story started... the dog has been beaten by a group of teenagers at some point...she thinks...he is very fearful and starts peeing as soon as the owner opens the door to my spa... pee all the way too the grooming area and then wild poo flies while he screams-nuced and muzzled to get off the floor...and from the table to the tub...and the tub to the table...and so on... owner pays $40 and leaves... I have told the owner I would not do the dog in the new year and explained my plans and that even if I fould a groomer I wasnt sure my insurance would cover the risk.. she still insists on calling me... I did not prebook the dog at his last groom... but she said I will call you in the new year...

                  I am so afraid of being biten while pregnant... Its more so the ones that get dragged in the door screaming and pooing...Unfortunatly these pets did not recieve the training they needed or rememeber a bad experience... but I dont want them in my home... the odd accident is ok... I dont keep the dogs long... Usually they are on the table until 5-10 mins before they leave. So I dont have too many

                  Still charge for a full groom as it is not your fault that the dog is aggressive for this one procedure and you should not have to complete it if it means putting yourself or your employees in harms way. You may want to invest in a Groomers Helper® and retain some if not all that your bather and or assistant groomer will handle while you are pregnant and on leave from the business.

                  The Groomers Helper is my best friend since Canada Grooms Nov 2008!

                  You worked hard for your clientele and I for one would not give up a single one. I understand your forward thinking but don't think yourself out of the business you already have. My wife Beth worked right up till delivery for both of our children. She took off for 4 weeks and was back grooming after that. We have two big strapping healthy boys.

                  By expanding your business and dropping the expensive shop you will be able to find more time for yourself and family and have the business to pay for it.

                  Good Luck and Godspeed.

                  Chuck
                  I wonder also if I am not offering enough as far as wages? 50% commission + tips? I thought that was fair? I supply everything...

                  Thanks a million Chuck... and if you meet any groomers that want to move to Canada...hint hint... see you in July in Oakville..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You have all been amazing confidence boosters I thank you so much for taking the time to reply...

                    Debbie.. you got it! My attitude does suck! I will be the first to admit I am a softy... when a lady comes in my shop bleeding because her own shih tzu had biten her just trying to get her out of the car... and then goes on to explain it only happens "sometimes" when she tries to pick her up...she has been grooming the dog herself because the last groomer asked he not to return... and then...she is diagnosed with cancer and is unable to come in and pick her own dogs up because she is so ill... how to I get the guts to tell her to find another groomer because Im tired of being bien by the little....
                    I will... put my foot down...

                    Congrats to all the newer mommys!!!
                    My guy and I figure... the VERY good clients will stay with me... instead of telling clients to come back in two hours, I will tell them three, or I will call them. If I have to stop and feed our little way baby...I will. Be patient for a great groom, or go elsewhere. MOST of my clients will understand. They are already so happy about the move...well the ones in my end of town anyway and excited about our plan for a new addition!

                    If I find another groomer, great! I can double check the work leaving my home, assist in any problems and be home! The only thing I am terrified of is the city denying me a permit. It will destroy me... There is nothing in the rules that can stop me... but what if I get everything moved in after recieving a permit and someone shows up and makes me move back out... there are other groomers in town out of home... but in more of a commercial area than residential... maybe they had their zoning changed? I dont know...

                    You are all right... why stress myself out trying to fight rodeo style while Im trying to have a wee little bundle of joy... and be a healthy happy mommy too! Its just tring to be firm enough to get them to leave...as politly as possible. I mean... Im not concerned about the business... I have more than enough good dogs to keep me busy... its keeping your dog... but not your sister, mother, or friends dog that is the hard part Ans if I do find some great help... I can move the business right back out of the house when I have a couple good groomers to accomadate everyone, right?

                    Keep the great ideas coming everyone and thanks again!!!

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X